“C” Worthy Communications

Will your message sink or float?

To be effective, communications should be 1) concise, 2) clear, 3) correct, 4) complete and, perhaps most important, it should 5) connect. Here’s a closer look at my “Five C’s” of communication.

  • Concise: Eliminate all unnecessary words, redundant thoughts, and irrelevant side issues. Make the piece as long as it has to be to cover what you want to get across – but not a line longer.
  • Clear: Use a simple, active voice. Pick words and images that illuminate – the very first time that the audience reads, hears or sees them.
  • Correct: No matter the importance of your message, you will lose credibility if you don’t get your facts, figures, spelling, punctuation and grammar right.
  • Complete: Anticipate the questions that the audience might have, and answer them – who, what, where, when, why and how. Use vivid and concrete examples.
  • Connect: Approach the assignment from the audience’s perspective, conveying information in a language that they will understand, and presenting it in a context that makes the information meaningful. In 1914, two New York University professors named George Burton Hotchkiss and Edward Jones Kilduff captured the objective in their book, Handbook of Business English. The purpose of effective writing, they wrote, like the purpose of business itself, is to “gain profit”. “This profit may come through the immediate response of the reader, or through establishing goodwill for later response. It is the art of impression rather than expression.” A timeless reminder for anyone in the communications business.


"C" Worthy